30+ Fresh and Fun Winter Break Activities for Kids Near Kalamazoo

Winter Fun with family - sledding - Kalamazoo

Winter Break Activity Guide 2019-2020

Kalamazoo will be jam-packed with winter break fun in late December.

Most area schools start winter break officially on December 21 and return to school on Monday, January 6, 2020.

Winter Break Activities for Families near Kalamazoo

Christmas Break is Snow-Packed Full of FUN

It doesn’t get better than having time off to relax, enjoy time with family, and bask in one of the most enchanting seasons of the year, no matter which holiday you celebrate.

However, as the school hiatus progresses, the kids develop a strong case of cabin fever and you are fresh out of ideas. Where to take the kids sledding or tubing? Where can you find indoor activities when you need a snow break?

We have done the research so you don’t have to: this guide includes 30+ boredom-smashing activities to entertain and engage families in Kalamazoo over winter break.

Winter Fun - Kids in a sled pulled by Grandma - Kalamazoo

Museums, day trips, sightseeing, restaurants, and outdoor adventures are all options for awesome and FREE events that you’ll want to explore with the family.

We’ve also covered staycation ideas as well as a day-by-day planner of all things fun in Kalamazoo.

Note: please verify the dates and times of your activity before you go, as venues may change their schedules. Also, note some outdoor activities may be cancelled due to weather.

Get Your Game On with Sports and Physical Activities

Whether a spectator or a participant, winter break in Kalamazoo offers a number of athletic events and activities for families to enjoy.

Ice skate with the big man in the red suit. Join the Santa skate at Millenium Park on December 21.

Build an epic snow fort in the backyard with these tips.

Take in a hockey game with the Kalamazoo Wings with home games on December 20, 27, 28 and 31.

Kids climbing the walls at home? Take them out to Climb Kalamazoo for some real walls to climb.

Explore your Creative Side with Museums and Art

Kalamazoo is home to some fantastic museums with hands-on learning, interactive exhibits and special events for winter break. Families can visit these local gems and further express their creativity through arts and crafts.

Air Zoo

Fly high at the Air Zoo!

Winter Break Guide - Air Zoo sponsor box Ad

This Holiday break combat the cabin fever, get out of the cold and join the fun at the Air Zoo during our DeNooyer Winter Break Family Fun Days!

December 26-27 and January 2-3, 11am- 3pm, there will be FREE special activities for the family included with admission:

  • Themed crafts and games
  • Special Guest Visitors
  • Interactive demonstrations

Want to celebrate the beginning of 2020 but can’t stay up until midnight? Celebrate New Year’s Eve early on Dec. 31st with a Countdown to Noon balloon drop, face painting and take-home party hats and noise makers. The fun starts at 11 am and goes until 3 pm and is free with admission. Check airzoo.org for more info!

6151 Portage Road | Portage, MI 49002| 269-382-6555

Air Zoo

Hand pour your own custom candle with Kalamazoo Candle Company’s Kids Day Out.

Drop in at Art Bayou and paint pottery– no appointment necessary.

No hats or mittens required to build these snowman crafts.

Follow the yellow brick road to the Wizard of Oz at the Otsego Library. This annual event raises money for the Rise and Shine Early Literacy Center.

  Solve puzzles as a family at Kalamazoo Valley Museum’s Mindbender Mansion exhibit. Get your free tickets and prepare to be dazzled by magic with John Dudley on January 2.

Boy at KVM exhibit - Winter Break Activities Kalamazoo

Let it Snow (indoors) at the KVM planetarium. All ages will enjoy watching holiday music come to life on the dome.

Visit the Air Zoo for the DeNooyer Winter Break Family Fun Days. Each day features different themed activities:

  • Thursday, December 26: Play in the Snow
  • Friday, December 27: Moon Landings
  • Tuesday, December 31: Countdown to Noon
  • Thursday, January 2: Super Steam
  • Friday, January 3: Rockin’ Rockets

Learn about social justice through the KIA’s Resilience exhibition of work from African American artists.

Grab your Binoculars: Nature & Sightseeing

Winter provides a beautiful backdrop for a mini excursion. Whether you are looking for shimmering lights, a trip around downtown, or a new place to explore, there’s no shortage of places to see near Kalamazoo.

Travel like a tourist in Downtown Kalamazoo with the Holly Jolley Trolley through December 31.

Head out to one of the Lake Michigan beaches to see beautiful ice formations on the piers.

Experience one mile of Christmas lights as you drive Marshall’s Merry Mile through December 30.

Learn about winter animals at the Kalamazoo Nature Center’s Winter Discovery Program. Also, on January 4 the KNC is partnering with Fanfare, to offer a Nature-themed Board Game event – fun for all ages.

Take a drive down Christmas Card Lane to see over 40 oversized Christmas cards in the Westwood neighborhood.

Take a stroll through Portage City Center (near the library) to visit the illuminated statues and trees.


Try a New Recipe or Restaurant

Expand your culinary horizons with these favorite, local eateries and fun winter-themed food:

Try a fun winter snack that is easy for the kids to make, a pretzel snowmen.

Enjoy decadent chocolate at Cherri’s Chocol’art downtown. Each piece is a mini-masterpiece!

Eat breakfast somewhere new: dine upstairs at Rykse & Co or stop by another of our readers’ favorite breakfast spots.

Need gluten or dairy free eating? You can still enjoy a night out with our favorite allergy friendly restaurants.

Let the kids create their own unique beverages with a hot cocoa bar.

Fridge stuffed from Christmas meals? Try these ideas to transform your leftovers into new dishes.

Take a Short Road Trip

While there is plenty to do in Kalamazoo, more adventure awaits within a short drive. Pack up the kids and explore more activities in the mitten:

Experience the joy of Christmas Traditions Around the World at Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park.

Drive through the Christmas Lite Show in Comstock Park.

Head west to St. Joe and stroll through over one million twinkling lights at Light Up the Bluff.


Plan a trip to Holiday Nights in Greenfield Village, December 26 – 28 to enjoy Santa and his reindeer, ice skating, carolers, artisan demonstrations, crafts, cooking demonstrations, and beautiful decorations. The night concludes with fireworks.

Head east to visit Peppa Pig, Legoland and SeaLife Aquarium in Auburn Hills.

“Swimming” and “winter” can go together: hit the pools with one of these indoor water parks within Michigan.

Need somewhere fun AND warm? Consider one of these Indoor Play Places Outside of Kalamazoo.


Our Day by Day List for Winter Break Events

Looking for something to do on a specific day of winter break? Use this calendar of winter break events to find your fun.

Winter Break STEAM Grab and Go Activity Kits
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
701 W Cloverdale Rd, Hastings, MI 49058
» December 19, 2020 – January 2, 2021 | 9am-5pm
Stop-by the Institute and pick up a FREE kit of fun, hands-on STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities.

Virtual Winter Camp (K-2nd Grade)
Hosted by Air Zoo
Virtual Event
» December 22 & 23, 29 & 30, 2020 | 9am-12pm
Three hours long and live with an Air Zoo Educator via a secure classroom link. The cost per camp is $12 including the materials kit (shipping of kits is $10 or free pick-up is available). Camp sizes will be limited to 24 students. Registrations are due no later than 14 days prior to the camp start date.

Virtual Winter Camp (3rd-5th Grade)
Hosted by Air Zoo
Virtual Event
» December 22 & 23, 29 & 30, 2020 | 1pm-4pm
Three hours long and live with an Air Zoo Educator via a secure classroom link. The cost per camp is $12 including the materials kit (shipping of kits is $10 or free pick-up is available). Camp sizes will be limited to 24 students. Registrations are due no later than 14 days prior to the camp start date.

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